December 8, 2022

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Cooking Is My World

Garam Masala Chicken – Chelsea’s Messy Apron

This simple and flavorful Garam Masala Chicken can be ready in 20 minutes or less. We combine chicken, peas, and carrots in a blend of spectacular spices and coconut milk.

Overhead view of Garam Masala Chicken

This Garam Masala Chicken is part of our Back-To-School Lifesavers — a series of recipes that are intended to have little (or no) veggie chopping, minimal prep time, around 10 ingredients, or less (not including pantry staples), and use kid-friendly ingredients. Click here to see all the recipes in the series!

Garam Masala Chicken

The first time I made this Garam Masala Chicken, my middle son told me he was sure he wouldn’t like it. And then he took one bite and after practically licking off his second plate, he asked if we could have it the next day.

Not only is this a great kid-friendly dish, but it’s also a hit with adults. And especially the adult preparing dinner — because this dish couldn’t be much easier to make. Especially when you consider the amount of flavor packed into each bite! We are not sacrificing flavor for speed or ease here!

Ingredient shot of elements used in Garam Masala Chicken

What do you use Garam Masala in?

First,  garam masala isn’t a single spice; it’s a blend — the whole spices (such as cinnamon, peppercorns, coriander seeds, mace, cumin seeds, and cardamom pods) are toasted over heat until the flavors are released and then they’re ground down to a powder. This spice blend makes such a huge flavor difference!

We, of course, use haram masala in this Garam Masala Chicken recipe. We also use it in the following dishes:

Garam masala can vary quite a bit from brand to brand. For this recipe, we use Private Selection® Garam Masala Blend, which we would rate as having a robust flavor but mild heat. Some garam masala blends can be fairly spicy, so be sure to taste before adding too much and adjust to personal preference if concerned about heat.

Process shots: sauté ginger and garlic; add spices; continue to sauté; add in coconut milk

SHORTCUTS

Garam Masala Chicken Recipe Shortcuts 

  • Ginger and garlic. We love frozen garlic and ginger Dorot® cubes. You can keep the packages handy in the freezer and pop them into this (and other) recipes when needed. Another option is to use refrigerated garlic paste and refrigerated minced garlic. 
  • Rotisserie chicken. Pre-cooked and seasoned chicken is a total time saver on its own, but to save even more time on the chicken, you can purchase rotisserie chicken meat already pulled from the bones and shredded or diced — a lot of grocery stores sell this conveniently prepared chicken. It’s a total lifesaver and game changer for busy cooks!
  • Frozen veggies. Instead of chopping veggies for this quick masala garam chicken, we use pre-chopped and frozen produce — frozen peas and carrots

Process shots: mix the sauce; add peas, carrots and honey; mix well; add shredded chicken.

How To Make Garam Masala Chicken

  • To make this Garam Masala Chicken, we start by sautéing the aromatics and spices. Take your time here, since this is going to unlock a heightened flavor dimension. 
  • Next, we add coconut milk. Look for shelf-stable, not refrigerated, cans of coconut milk. You’ll find canned coconut milk on the international aisle, with Latin or Asian products. For this Garam Masala Chicken, our coconut milk brand preference is Imperial Kitchen®.
  • Finally, warm through the frozen veggies and then the rotisserie chicken. Dinner is ready!

Overhead view of Garam Masala Chicken in the pan

This recipe comes together so quickly that we don’t want to be spending loads of time on the sides, right?!

Garam Masala Chicken: Serving Suggestions

We generally serve this meal with rice and naan. It’s nice to make this whole meal an Indian-themed one.

In true “back-to-school recipe lifesavers” fashion, the sides need to be just as easy as the actual meal. Here are our “secrets” to the quickest sides:

  • Toaster naan. Store-bought naan is definitely best warmed through, but instead of taking the time to char it over an open flame, just throw it in the toaster right as you’re finishing the dish. You can purchase smaller-sized naan that fits in the toaster perfectly. (Stonefire® makes this; it’s usually labeled as mini naan.)
  • Boiled rice. If you haven’t tried boiled rice before, you are going to be thrilled with the ease and speed. All you’ll need to do is throw some rice in boiling water, boil it for 5-7 minutes, and voila — perfect rice!

Close-up view of Garam Masala Chicken served with rice

More Easy Rotisserie Chicken Recipes:

Garam Masala Chicken

This simple and flavorful Garam Masala Chicken can be ready in 20 minutes or less. We combine chicken, peas, and carrots in a blend of spectacular spices and coconut milk.

Garam Masala Chicken

This simple and flavorful Garam Masala Chicken can be ready in 20 minutes or less. We combine chicken, peas, and carrots in a blend of spectacular spices and coconut milk.

Instructions

  • AROMATICS: Add coconut oil to a large nonstick skillet set over medium heat. Once the oil has melted, add in garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant– about 30 seconds. Add in all the seasonings and cook, stirring constantly, until very fragrant– about 1-2 minutes. Reduce heat or add a small splash of water if anything is burning.

  • PEAS AND CARROTS: Add in the can of coconut milk, increase heat to medium-high, and switch to a whisk. Whisk until ingredients are completely incorporated. Add in the bag of peas and carrots and honey. Stir until veggies are thawed through and sauce is thickened and bubbling around the edges, about 5 minutes.

  • CHICKEN: Once sauce is warmed, add in chicken and gently (to not further shred chicken), stir through to warm chicken and coat in sauce, about 1-2 minutes.

  • SERVE: Remove from heat and if desired, add fresh lime and/or cilantro. Mix through and taste, adding additional salt/pepper if needed (I typically add another 1/4 tsp of each). Serve over cooked rice with additional lime wedges if using. Enjoy with warmed naan!

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Ginger and garlic: To keep things quick, use refrigerated minced garlic and refrigerated ginger paste.
Note 2: Garam masala: This is a blend of spices and makes such a huge flavor difference! Garam masala can vary quite a bit from brand to brand. For this recipe, we use Private Selection® Garam Masala Blend which we would rate as having a robust flavor but mild heat. Some garam masala blends can be fairly spicy, so be sure to taste before adding too much and adjust to personal preference if concerned about heat.
Note 3: Coconut milk: The coconut milk really offsets the spice of this dish, so be sure to get a full-fat one. (Lite coconut milk won’t thicken as nicely and won’t offset the spice as well.) Between the coconut milk and honey, I’d say this dish is quite mild (my 3-year-old loved it!).
Note 4: Chicken: Use pre-cooked and seasoned (with s&p) chicken or you can purchase rotisserie chicken meat already pulled from the bones and shredded or diced — many grocery stores sell this! Or, prepare some grilled chicken and save some leftovers for this recipe. One of the best things about this recipe is that you don’t need to re-warm the leftover chicken; simply toss it in the skillet and let the warm broth heat it through.
Note 5: Serving suggestions: We love this dish over cooked rice and warmed naan.

Here’s the quickest/easiest way to get perfect basmati rice (must use basmati for this to work!)

  • Fill a large pot with water and set it to boil.
  • Once the water is at a rolling boil, generously salt the water and add in uncooked rice.
  • Cook without, reducing the heat, for 6 minutes (Taste test to ensure it is tender.) and then drain and fluff with a fork. Easy!

Otherwise, use pre-cooked packaged Ready Rice or leftover cooked rice. For the naan, throw it in the toaster right as you’re finishing the dish. You can purchase smaller-sized naan that fits in the toaster perfectly. (Stonefire® makes this; it’s usually labeled as mini naan.)

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 376kcal | Carbohydrates: 12.6g | Protein: 28.7g | Fat: 22.6g | Cholesterol: 78.8mg | Sodium: 108.6mg | Fiber: 2.7g | Sugar: 6.4g

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.